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Every 'World of Warcraft' expansion is now free

By Shawn Knight
May 19, 2016
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  1. World of Warcraft’s latest expansion, Warlords of Draenor, is now entirely free and comes as part of the base game.

    A Reddit member noticed the other day that the expansion was no longer being offered for sale and surmised that it was now part of the base game. Shortly after, a Blizzard customer service rep confirmed the news.

    What that means is that all of the content from the first five expansions – The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor – has effectively been folded into the main game.

    World of Warcraft retails for $19.99 but you’ll also need to factor in the cost of the monthly subscription. Individually, you’ll pay $14.99 per month but that fee can be lowered to $13.99 each month if you purchase three months in advance ($41.97 billed every three months) or $12.99 monthly for a six-month subscription ($77.94 billed twice a year).

    Legendary Pictures’ Warcraft movie is set to hit theaters on June 10. As part of a promotion with Regal Cinemas, participating locations will be handing out free digital copies of World of Warcraft to anyone that buys a ticket to see the movie.

    The next major expansion, Legion, will be released on August 30 and Blizzard is currently accepting pre-purchases. Legion will raise the game’s level cap to 110 and introduce a new continent called The Broken Isles. Pricing starts at $49.99 for the standard edition and $69.99 for the digital deluxe edition.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Guru Posts: 377   +81

    I'm all for continuing the legacy that is WoW, but I think it really needs to modernise itself with regards to the graphics, engine, story and universe.
    One of the best and worst things with WoW is the immenseness of the lore and universe - it's really overwhelming for a newcomer.
    I started playing WoW just after Cataclysm came out, and stopped before MoP came out - I came back for a trial week but I was given very little direction with the major game changes, and also made very little effort to understand them.

    WoW's has probably been stripped down to it's dedicated fanbase now. Subscribers will fluctuate with the release and that as they always do but eventually it boils down to the same group continuing playing likely until support stops.
     
  3. Sniped_Ash

    Sniped_Ash TS Maniac Posts: 253   +108

    There's only so much they can do graphics-wise, but Legion will bump up the view distance (farclip) and LOD by 3x and the point and environmental light improvements added during WoD are really nice. They also switched to a more modern deferred rendering system for WoD and increased the minimum requirements so there's movement at least in that direction.

    The biggest unannounced feature though is probably the redone combat animations, spell, and sound effects. Melee classes get the biggest benefit from this I think as it makes it feel a little more like a modern action game.

    Gameplay-wise it seems like they're mixing things up with a big injection of ideas (and team members) from Diablo 3 (world quests, world drop legendary items with crazy affixes, greater-rift style dungeons with no difficulty limit, etc.), making the 100-110 leveling zones scale to your level so you can do them in any order, and the whole artifact weapon thing that should offer power progression by doing things (and not necessarily raiding).

    Will that stuff actually work or be awful like WoD's endgame? I don't know. Hopefully it'll be cool and good and reinvigorate WoW.
     
  4. twfox123

    twfox123 TS Rookie

    They can't update the graphics unless they remake the entire game. What other MMO do you know that is almost completely open world? Most modern MMOs require a player to phase into certain zones after a loading screen because there it would cause too much lag.
     
  5. fl21289

    fl21289 TS Booster Posts: 59   +38

    Expansions should be updates and free if you are going to charge monthly subscription... I think this is one thing that started going down hill for Blizzard. As an MMORPG that charges you want to keep making the game fun by creating new things, not charge a month and charge for an update.
     
  6. Thrackerzod

    Thrackerzod TS Enthusiast Posts: 40   +30

    They have updated the graphics in every expansion. New rendering techniques, new lighting techniques, anti-aliasing improvements, higher resolution textures, and so on. Today's WoW engine is far more advanced than it was in vanilla.
     
    Darth Shiv likes this.
  7. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,631   +432

    WoW is the 7th most popular title streaming on Twitch though.
    https://www.twitch.tv/directory
     
    Sancticide likes this.
  8. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,186   +580

    They could update the graphics without having to redo all the content. The various graphical upgrades of WoW over the years are proof of that. It wouldn't be hard for blizzard to make an engine accept the current data, especially when they are so familiar with it.
     
  9. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 1,953   +162

    The low graphics requirements keep their populations up. I tried WOD and compared to WOTLK it is very watered down, it's like diablo 3. For a warrior you no longer benefit from agility. So go strength water. You now only pick 6 skills. Water. The mobs even seem to easy leveling up then again I do have heirloom items. I 1 to 2 shot almost anything with my hunter leveling from 1-70.
     
    wastedkill likes this.
  10. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,163   +197

    Even if new contents are free, the WOW game franchise is still expensive, subscription-wise.
     
  11. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,750   +1,105

    You can pay for the subscription through in-game gold. I haven't played in years, so I don't know how much it costs - probably too much for a new player, but it's a cool option. This also means you can sell token for a month of playtime and get paid in WoW gold. It's a legal way of buying gold with $$ if I remember right how it works.

    And the new continents aren't free. The headline says 'Every WoW expansion' that means every one that's already out (confusing? Yes) . In the story below they say the new one still costs $50.
     
    misor likes this.
  12. Biekdafreak

    Biekdafreak TS Rookie


    It costs 46,000 gold as of today for 30 days of game time. Way too much for the average player and far out of reach for a beginning player.
     
    wastedkill and misor like this.
  13. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,608   +289

    I got a trial week email recently and logged in. So much has changed that I didn't even know how to go about using basic skills as I used mods back in the day. And the talent tree was such a basic thing now that seemed like very little customisation to your character. While it was as nice to pop on for an hour or so and wander around it just doesn't have the same apppeal anymore. I think that it's had its time in the sun. If they charged for the expansion and made it subscription free and leaned more on a micro transaction model I might have stuck around for a bit longer.
     
  14. Iochkaria

    Iochkaria TS Rookie

    its almost 50k gold just for the token thats a lot of gold.
     
  15. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,555   +2,898

    LOL - The devs will tell you "That's a lot of Expansion".
     
  16. Ascaris

    Ascaris TS Booster Posts: 72   +27

    Cataclysm was when the game really began downhill. If there was one expansion I could undo, it would be that one.
     
    wastedkill likes this.
  17. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Guru Posts: 377   +81

    So I've heard, I started playing with friends but stopped because of exams.
     
  18. JimboBillyBob

    JimboBillyBob TS Rookie

    This is Blizzard's idea of renewing interest in a dying game. By letting the movie studios use their IP to drum up some more interest in WoW. Then conniving to get those people who saw the movie into the game by offering the game for free (then all the expacs too) and keeping the 15$ a month subscription fee. As a long time player I have found that gold is a bit easier to get now than it used to be...but 48K g for a month sub....come on that crazy...you would spend more time grinding out the gold to subscribe than actually playing the game
     
    wastedkill likes this.
  19. Tribalcheetah

    Tribalcheetah TS Rookie

    15 a month is less than what most people spend on free to play games...that are free to play.

    That's a single large pizza, I mean come on, if you find that expensive you need to find a hobby outside of video gaming
     
  20. amstech

    amstech TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 1,456   +606

    Subscription numbers are lower then 5 million I think. I haven't activated my account in years but made a lowbie just to login every few months and check things out. Its free up until level 20.
    I've never seen my realm (Eonar) lower then medium (it was on high for 3-4 years straight) and it was on low for population last time I checked; many realms have been merged/closed.
    They need to lower the monthly fee.
    Don't give me that "if you play it its worth $12-$15 a month crap", or "its worth it for all the content". If the monthly was $5-$7 they would get back a few million subs.
     
  21. Caseyc

    Caseyc TS Rookie

    The problem with your idea of lowering subscription fee is that its anti productive to the overall cost effectiveness of even having a sub fee. They have stated that WOW will no longer be there main title for Blizzard and that they will be exanding other game titles into the future, Regardless of individual ideas on there sales and health of the game wow still have a fluxuating player base but a stable one within there marketing structure so why then would they go as every other free to play and use a micro transaction when about half of the MMos using this dynamic in marketing dont survive but for a few yearsand actually I have seen about 10 go under after a few years of the micro transaction and blizzard already has micro transactions incorporated so why would they consider lowering there sub when even 5 or 4 million subs rakes in a substantial amount still its like saying Walmart is going to close due to internet buying with ebay is faster easier and most times cheaper they will just change the way they do business not cut there own throats if Blizzard went totally free to play or buy to play with wow they would be killing a title and franchise because then they would pander to gold farmers as the F2P and b2P titles end up doing which in the end would be anti productive and regressive instead of progressive as a company new innovations with systems and smaller upgrades to the current engine is a smart way to go so that the player base who cant afford to go out and just buy a new pc on a whim can keep up with it, so no in the end lowering there sub would not be a great idea neither would making it totally b2p or f2p and since the franchise is stable doing this would be suicide for a company like blizzard because then you get a reputation for perhaps ending a title without notice or community input like most b2p or f2p titles do
     
  22. Caseyc

    Caseyc TS Rookie

    Oh and you have to consider the best f2p or b2p only has about 300k to a million accounts so ya blizzard is way above par even at 4 or 5 million subs, just food for thought
     
  23. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,750   +1,105

    Well - depending on how you look at it. According to usinflationcalculator.com $15 in 2004 (when WoW came out) would be $19 today. And $15 today would be $11 in 2004 dollars. So every year the subscription does go down relatively. Just wait till the min wage is $15/hr!

    The other thing to note is - WoW takes a LOT of time. Many players who play didn't play anything else. And so far as entertainment for your dollar goes - most people got their money's worth. If you go to 1 major league baseball game and sit in the worst seats there, you'll still pay over $50 with parking and food. (This is also why movie prices keep going up - They're still a cheap option).
     
  24. art336

    art336 TS Rookie

    So the WoW expansion Legion is free? That's what "Every World of Warcraft expansion now free" means, right?

    Come on guys, hire an actual journalist; those "expansions" aren't expansions anymore, and haven't been for some time. That's the regular activity right before an actual expansion, which is not free, launches.

    Oh, and try to fix your broken captcha. The number between 35 and 60 that comes right before 55 is 54.9, not 54. And the one between 35 and 60 that is right after 55 is 55.1, not 56.
     
  25. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,555   +2,898

    Would it help if stated this way?
    "The whole number between 35 and 60 that comes right before 55"
    Seriously why would you think to put in a decimal value? A decimal value would only compound the complexity and confusion. And not only that it would make breaking through the captcha a whole lot easier. By adding a range of numbers instead of one specific.
     

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